Give Your Clients What They Really Want This Holiday Season – A Client Feedback Program!

December 12, 2013

If your firm is like any that I’ve worked with over the past twenty years, at this time of year there’s probably a lot of scrambling to clean up mailing lists, discussions surrounding electronic or hard copy holiday cards, and debates about the merits of sending gifts to clients. But have you asked yourself what your clients might really want this holiday season?Based on findings in last month’s Canadian Lawyer Corporate Counsel Survey, it might just be a Client Feedback Program!

According to the magazine,

“Tracking how the in-house/external relationship is doing remains a low priority for law firms.  Of the more than 200 respondents to this question, 80.4 per cent said their top law firm had not asked them to complete a written, phone, or in-person satisfaction survey n the last 12 months.

5 Things to Consider When Customizing Your Client Feedback Program

If you decide that now is the time to implement, or beef up, your client feedback program, think about the following questions before you move forward:

1.  Program strategy and goals

Why are you implementing the program?  What information do you want to learn?  What other goals do you have in relation to your strategic planning and business development that can be incorporated into your client feedback program?

2.  Participants

Who will be the participants in your program?  Are you targeting your largest clients or a cross section of clients?  Just decision makers or influencers?  Specific target practice areas or across the firm?  Is there room in your program for new clients and prospects?

3.  Methodology

What methods will you use to implement your client feedback program?  Are you thinking of Client questionnaires which can be efficient to implement or Face-to-face interviews which can be more time consuming but can yield more in-depth feedback?  Will your questionnaires be a hardcopy mailer or utilize an on-line survey program? Will your program contain a combination of methodologies?  What will be the frequency in which you contact your clients?

4.  Who will implement the program?

Will your clients be as willing to participate, and be as honest as you’d like them to be, if the program is implemented in-house as opposed to an external consultant?  If using in-house resources do you have the skill set and time commitment necessary available? Will you use business development resources or the relationship partners?

5.  Analysis of program outcome and follow up

Who will aggregate and analyze the data coming from the clients who participate in the program? How will we record the specific feedback from each client and follow-up on it so that they know they were heard?  What take-away will be registered from those clients who declined to participate?

If I achieve nothing else with this blog post, hopefully you’ll see that there are an awful lot of factors to take into account when establishing and implementing a client feedback program.  But don’t let that scare you off.  Give the gift of caring this holiday season and ask your clients for their feedback!

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane /

Lynn Fitzpatrick Foley
Fitzpatrick Foley

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